With Halloween just shy of a week away, I decided to share some of my favourite books to read around this spoopy time of year! All of the novels listed here are fantastic fright-night narratives with spookatcular elements in one form or another, and I gave them all 3.5 stars or higher! There are even a few books that kept me from being able to sleep in the dark, which are the best kinds of spoopy things to read. 🙂 Wishing everyone a safe and fun Halloween! 🎃
Another by Yukito Ayatsuji
🎃 #OwnVoices Japanese Literature, Psychological Horror, Supernatural
🎃 Impeccably written with an intellectual prose that’s accessible and gripping.
🎃 The story has a slow-burn, intensifying in creepiness and scary elements with each turn of the page.
🎃 Unique concept that is fully fleshed out and intricately constructed that keeps you absorbed from beginning to end.
🎃 Great for folks who like unpredictable, paced, supernatural stories surrounding urban legends, particularly where Japanese supernatural folklore is concerned.
Another Episode S/0 by Yukito Ayatsuji
🎃 #OwnVoices Japanese Literature, Psychological Thriller, Supernatural
🎃 Companion story to Another (should be read after Another to avoid spoilers for main novel).
🎃 Brilliantly psychological in every way.
🎃 Intelligently put together.
🎃 Atmospheric with sinister aura that surrounds the reader from beginning to end.
🎃 Wonderful for folks who enjoy supernatural stories that will make them question everything.
I, Ripper by Stephen Hunter
🎃 Historical Fiction, Crime Thriller, Horror
🎃 The novel takes you into the mind of Jack the Ripper and the detective hunting him, creating a malevolent and intense cat-and-mouse situation.
🎃 Stunning in its brutality; tons of visceral, grotesque, and violent imagery.
🎃 Prose is a bit slow, but it’s immensely well-written and perfectly complementary to time period.
🎃 Details of the crimes are derived from actual, real-life context, such as authentic interviews, periodicals from the era, etc., making everything that much more genuine.
🎃 Perfect for folks who enjoy Victorian crime thrillers that don’t shy away from violence.
Crimson Peak: The Film Novelization by Nancy Holder, Original Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro
🎃 Victorian Gothic Horror, Supernatural
🎃 Better than the film as it fleshes out the story and has some additional content that’s not in the film.
🎃 Stunning vivid imagery.
🎃 The prose is breathtakingly felicitous to the Victorian time period (1887).
🎃 Sensationally atmospheric with a setting that will completely encapsulate you.
🎃 Creepy as fuck!
🎃 Perfect for fans of twisted Gothic horror.
Alien: The Film Novelization by Alan Dean Foster
🎃 Science-Fiction, Psychological Horror
🎃 Definitely a paced story, but adds unique touches you don’t get from the film, such as internal musings of what the cast is feeling and thinking.
🎃 Jump scares are more intense in the book due to how they’re written.
🎃 Slow-build of suspense that creates an uncomfortable tension that is the perfect companion to the story being told.
🎃 Has its moments of grossness.
🎃 Great for fans of science-fiction horror, or fans of creature features.
Aliens Omnibus: Complete Collection Volume 1 by Steve Perry & Stephani Perry
🎃 Science-Fiction, Psychological Horror
🎃 Add more depth and lore to the Xenomorph universe, while providing fascinating insight into the creatures.
🎃 The prose is extremely fluid and fast-paced due to the ordinarily and straight-forward writing style.
🎃 Retains that air of slow-burn psychological tension that is familiar with Aliens franchise.
🎃 Violent and gross.
🎃 Excellent for fans of the franchise, and folks who like creature features.
Cold Moon Over Babylon by Michael McDowell
🎃 Southern Gothic Horror, Supernatural
🎃 The epitome of classic Southern Gothic horror story: grotesque characters, horrific and transgressive motifs, and an angtsy sense of alienation.
🎃 Very paced, but focuses intimately on the characters, which makes this book so damn irresistible.
🎃 The narrative in its entirety is profoundly chilling and eerie.
🎃 Meticulously written.
🎃 Some of the imagery is psychologically fucked up, graphic, and plain disgusting.
🎃 Trigger warnings: Scene of rape.
🎃 Highly recommended for fans of classic Southern Gothic horror.
The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
🎃 British Literature, Magical Realism, Dark Fantasy
🎃 A relatively short novel that is easy to read within a couple of hours.
🎃 Less obvious horror and more innately cognitive horror as it addresses very genuine and ordinary fears.
🎃 Very strange, dark, and twisted that is subtle in its execution.
🎃 Trigger Warning: A brief scene of child abuse.
🎃 Perfect for people who enjoy being scared on a truly psychological and emotional level; those who enjoy strange and uncomfortable tales.
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
🎃 #OwnVoices Japanese Literature, Dystopian, Psychological Thriller
🎃 Not traditionally a horror novel, but excellent for Halloween due to the extravagantly savage and merciless quantity of bloodshed, which is further amplified since middle-schoolers are partaking in said violence.
🎃 A twisted and malevolent examination of how fear affects a person’s psyche, specifically when you think about their accumulated experiences.
🎃 Brilliantly written.
🎃 Fast-paced and beautifully fluid; very easy to get swept away by it.
🎃 Trigger warnings: Scenes of sexual assault and rape.
🎃 Recommended for fans of brutal fucking books, dystopian governments and horror relating to affects fear has on the human brain.
Revenge by Yoko Ogawa
🎃 #OwnVoices Japanese Gothic, Short Story Collection, Psychological Horror
🎃 A short book with 11 tales, loosely connected, that you can read in a matter of an hour or two.
🎃 Subtle horror elements that evoke an intimate sense of strange eeriness.
🎃 As the connections are revealed, it envelopes you in an aura that’s very menacing.
🎃 Very contemplative in nature.
🎃 Prose is terse, spooky, idiosyncratic.
🎃 Glorious for fans who like subtle thinky narratives that stick to their bones long after it’s finished.
Resident Evil: Caliban Cove by S.D. Perry (Original Story)
🎃 Science-Fiction, Horror
🎃 Wonderful zombie narrative that takes you into the mind of someone who’s infected as they slowly lose their mind and transition into a zombie.
🎃 Superbly atmospheric as the setting encompasses an abandoned laboratory on a spooky-as-hell island, along with an abandoned lighthouse.
🎃 Suspenseful with a decent fabrication of intensity.
🎃 Short, fast, and easy to read.
🎃 Marvellous for folks who are fans of the Resident Evil franchise, or enjoy zombie books in general.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica by S.D. Perry (Novelization of Original Video Game)
🎃 Science-Fiction, Horror, Psychological Thriller
🎃 The most twisted and fucked-up addition to the franchise that’s far more psychological than other instalments.
🎃 Fast and easy to read.
🎃 The twists are shocking.
🎃 New zombified monsters that add grossly creepy elements.
🎃 Really well-written.
🎃 Good for fans of the franchise and those who love the zombie books.